Transilvania Frumoasa

Little movie keeps going …

“Hello Ingrid. Thank you so much for allowing us to share your beautiful film. All enjoyed and had a poignant discussion after the film. We shared your quotes with the audience and also showed the film twice before we discussed it. The international film festival here in Carson City NV looks forward to more of Goat Lips Productions !!  Please keep in touch if you have time. Best regards. Linda”
TF Poster


It’s the end of February! I always like telling you when we are. We are in the year 2018, approaching March in a whirlwind of events, of ups and downs …

I’m sharing a little bit of good news. “Transilvania Frumoasa” was featured at the Carson City International Film Festival. The letter above came from the director of the festival. Being appreciated never gets old. (Thank you to everyone who’s joined this prestigious group, my mailing list so you could watch the film.)

You can watch this short documentary, a simple love poem for my birth place, here: https://vimeo.com/ingridserbanfilms/transilvaniafrumoasa with the password myplace

“Transilvania Frumoasa” (Transylvania the Beautiful) is my first short documentary, made on an Iphone 5. I wanted to say that it was a simpler time back then, seeing that I am now in post production with two feature length documentaries, living by myself in Paris, gearing up to write my next project (the most challenging yet!) … but that time back then, wasn’t simple either. I remember the edit. I had nasty flu, I couldn’t even stand, I was under a crazy deadline … I recorded about 50 takes of the narration. It’s not that long ago but it feels like another lifetime.

I’m keeping this letter short because if I start, it may get really long! All I’m going to say is that this is the most challenging time I have ever experienced, that I’m looking for that space between the “either” and the “or” and that I am experimenting with a new thing: being alone. What a strange challenge. I am grateful for it and for all the film work as well. I am doing what I love with a refining fire blazing around me.


TwelveConsultingChicagoEnd of January, I flew to Chicago to play a show with Forest for these fine people at Twelve Consulting.
They do so much good work in their community.
Jill started the company and her husband Josh joined in.
I am inspired.


What’s next …

  • In 2 days I’m leaving Paris for Oaxaca (via San Francisco for one night. I get to see Forest and smell some redwoods. Ahhh. I can’t wait.)
  • After 5 days of Oaxaca, where I’m doing a rough-cut screening of the Egypt film I will return to San Fran for 10 whole days!
  • Mid March, back to my solo existence in Paris for about 3 more months to finish editing the Egypt film AND the vampire/strigoi documentary.

PS. RIP Ana Misin, the lady on the left on the movie poster.

love,

Ingrid


 

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from the road

After sunshine must come rain.
September 1st rolled in in style, here in Lugano, Switzerland. Yesterday was hot and humid as every summer day we’ve had since we arrived. Then evening came.
A flash of light and a rolling thunder made way for a carousing tempest that raged all night.
Nothing like a storm at the edge of a lake. It feels like a divine dance marked by loud clapping and deep belly laughter. Fiesta, forever!

We have been here in the south of Switzerland for the past 6 weeks, editing the feature documentary we filmed in Egypt this summer. I am very happy with the editor we have on our team. He’s most certainly in the realm of wishes come true when it comes to a working relationship. On top of that, his fiancee has been a real ray of sunshine as we delve in the depths of the footage to find the story.
Forest has been making so many amazing meals for the whole house and jumping in the lake any chance he gets.
We’ve all been living in the same house with rolling guests. My parents came by for a weekend, my friend Caroline from SF for another, Deepa for a day and Tarek our exec has been mostly here but out at times too.
So the core group, consisting of Pierre our editor, Amy, Forest and myself has been holding down the fort.


 

Film Festival Screening

“All Sales Final” is screening at Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Festival on September 8th @ 10PM.
BAREBOTTLE BREWING COMPANY
1525 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco CA


Concert in Berkeley

Forest Sun and I, joined by the amazing musician and producer Gawain Matthews will be playing a private show for Rosecrest Concerts on Saturday, 9/9

GawainForestIngrid


Paris next …

After just 8 days in the Bay Area, we’re off to Paris for the fall to spend six more weeks on the edit!
At first I felt sad not to come home but then I thought … Paris … the fall … making the movie better …
Although we have been home less than 2 months this year, I am looking forward to being in Paris and polishing this film.
And then, we’ll come home in November. …. and I hopefully and willfully get to finish my vampire film as well.
To sum up the state of my heart and mind, “help and thank you.”

Please write back and tell me how you are.
I always enjoy hearing from you.

Ingrid

PS. To help with the Hurricane Harvey relief I donated to MusiCares. If you’re moved to find out more info about them, you can do so HERE. I am not officially affiliated with MusiCares but I support the work that they do.

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Cairo, Egypt

Hello my dear friends,

Yes, Forest and I are in Cairo, Egypt! We are safe and happy creating a fantastic documentary film.
3 days of meeting many wonderful people, finalizing our local crew and Egyptian cast, quite a task in itself. To remind you, we are bringing Americans and their families on a free trip to Egypt so that they can experience this place for themselves, creating a feature documentary around it.

Every single person we met here has been an absolute delight (minus one … more on that later). This is my very first time in Egypt and first time directing such a large crew and cast. Talk about going from 0 to 60 in a few seconds.
The gratitude that I feel for this project, Egypt and the people I’m working with is propelling me forward at a dizzying speed.

The reason why we’re here now is to arrange for the big trip later this summer, part of which includes location scouting. Yesterday we went to the pyramids, which brings me to the “minus one” person.


There is a bit of a fiasco at the gates to the pyramids because they closed at 4pm due to Ramadan. As a result of a flurry of loudly spoken Arabic words exchanged by our people and the gate keepers we end up in horse-drawn buggies going to somewhere outside the pyramids for a “nice view.” The ride is intense and beautiful. We are going through the suburb of Giza, a colorful and dense region populated by many smiling faces, horses and camels.

We start climbing the desert hills. Our driver and horse have a good working relationship, the horse is allowed to rest when he needs to. It is quite beautiful, they way the understand each other without words or the violent whip. I can’t say the same for the other driver. He is cruel and ruthless and he breaks his whip on the horse’s haunch. We get to our vista point I am in tears. I want to free the horse, tend to his bloody cuts and send his oppressor as far away as possible. But I cannot. The torturer is a young man. He knows how I feel and I don’t know if that makes him prouder of his power or gives him a second thought about his actions.

The view of the pyramids is stunning and impressive. The sacred and the suffering seem to have a lot in common, don’t they? I don’t have it in me to get a smiling photo of myself in front of the pyramids. I just stand there and let it all mix in with the strong wind that wipes my tears.


When our American travelers arrive, they will not be taking the horse and buggies to the pyramids.

There’s loads more to share with you but I’ve already written a lot so I’ll close here, but not before I share with you our latest music video, below. Hope you find inspiration and joy in it. I know we do. 🙂

Sending you much love and a warm embrace from the Egyptian sun.

Now Or Never

Forest Sun’s new single, “Now or Never” with Gawain Mathews and Kyle Caprista.

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Anuta

With 2016 waving goodbye and 2017 quickly approaching, here I am, running towards you with my latest offering; movie 11 of 12, “Anuta.”

I met Anuţa (pronounced Anutza) on the vampire search trail which took us north of Transyvania, in Maramures. I feel in love with her within the first 2 minutes of meeting her. As soon as she shared her love of singing, I asked her to sing for me. It became clear that she would be the subject of my December film.

Maybe it’s ego centric to see one’s life in the reflection of another but she made me think of what my life would have been like had my parents refused to let me go to music school.

I love this woman for the beauty of her soul, the delicate and mesmerizing sound of her voice and for the fact that she lives with ardor and an uncompromising sense of self. As she might wish she took a different path in life, my wish is that I may be as strong and graceful as she is.

And while I’m wishing, here’s a wish for you.
May 2017 bring you health, joy, strength and wonder.

I am grateful for you!

love,
Ingrid

To watch Anuta’s film, join my mailing list here: http://bit.ly/IngridsList

A Blue Christmas

Sending joy and gladness on this day of Christmas celebration.

I was going to wait and write you at the end of the month, as usual, when I send you that month’s film but the  falling snow made me think of sending you some love today. We really are having a white Christmas.

Forest and I recorded our version of Blue Christmas. With an accordion. We had a lot of fun making this video. Hope it brings a smile to your face as well.

I’ll talk to you soon! In less than a week when I send you movie #11 of my movie challenge. How this year has flown by!

So grateful for you!

PS. Our outfits above are the typical clothes people in the north or Romania wear during the holidays. This region is called Maramures and it is magical. I got quite a bit of footage up there for the vampire movie! I could tell you so much more but I’ll save it for another time. The only thing I want to say is that the women in Maramures are unapologetically powerful. I was moved to tears. More on that later. ….

forest-sun-ingrid-serban-blue-christmas

Soul Music

Soul Music, a short film by Ingrid SerbanHello my dear friends, old and new and all cherished.

As usual, this and all my other monthly films are not perfected but finished. It’s my practice this year. To let it go and not tinker with it until it’s “perfect.” Thank you for watching and being so supportive. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this one. 

If you can think of a better title for this film, let me know. I’m open to ideas.

Here comes the impossible task. I wanted to compose real musical pieces that I “hear” in other people’s bodies and souls. Yes, I’m not forgetting the soul. The Soul is the grand orchestrator and conductor.

I am writing you from the bus driving down Lombard street in San Francisco. There’s wifi on the bus. Slow but good enough to write you this letter.

What a day! I just finished the edit and ran to the bus station. The film is not uploaded to vimeo yet (slow internet at work today) but by the time you get this message it will be there waiting for you.

This month I took on an impossible task!

Let me rewind for a bit. It was June 1st and I was lying in bed at night awake, thinking about sound and planets and what is it that brings harmony and discord between us. I grabbed onto a mental thread and followed it.
Sound is vibration. We, our bodies are constantly vibrating with life. This means that we are producing a constant sound. A song! Maybe the harmony and dissonance that we feel with each other has to do with the clashing or harmonizing of our “songs.” Kind of like Pythagoras‘ “Music of the Spheres” but within. It gives a whole new meaning to listening. The symphony of life.

Soul Music by Ingrid Serban

Password protected film link here: https://vimeo.com/173000874So I asked a few people I love to stand in front of my camera and look into the lens for 2 whole minutes. Amazing vulnerability, beauty and a sense of the infinite … That’s what I’ve been feeling all day editing. As if I traveled to the stars and saw what we’re made of. Powerful stuff, looking into each other’s eyes.

(If you’d like to watch this film, please email me. I will add you to my mailing list and send you the password for this film. My monthly films of 2016 are only available to people on my mailing list.)
Love,
Ingrid

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Giving Thanks

Giving thanks,

As I’m writing this letter to you I can hear the tuning man downstairs; repeated notes, shrill and loud float up to my room. It makes me think of life and living and how sometimes, being me feels messy and I feel just like those notes: shrill, too loud and out of context. And then I open my bigger-vision-eyes and see the larger picture; I am an instrument with incredible capacity for beauty and love; and so are you.

Transilvania Frumoasa by Ingrid Serban
Who’s in that photo above and why is it in this email?
I grew up with these two sweet ladies. Maria Misin (left) is my grandma’s cousin and Marioara is the neighbor across the street. This village is my happy place and the house behind them is the one I sing about in “Grandma’s House.” (Download on Itunes)Why their photo? As you probably know, I put together a short documentary that Forest inspired me to create called “Transilvania Frumoasa” – Transylvania the Beautiful. These ladies are featured. (read more)

Transilvania Frumoasa by Ingrid Serban
(password available to my mailing list subscribers only)
You know how I like to show you stuff before anyone else gets to see it, and tell you to keep it a secret and ask you for your feedback?
I’m doing that again.Audio still needs work. It’s nice, just not perfect. I’m also going to add my parents in the thank you section.

Sending you much love and wishing you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.


In other related news:

  • Forest and I are doing a Holiday SALE where you get 6 Cds for $50 and FREE shipping (this includes the two albums I sing on, “Just for Fun, Songs for the Little Ones” and “Just Begun.”) … just in case you’d like to support what we do and get some cool stocking stuffers that keep on giving. 🙂
  • Here’s another sweet video from the Porch Sessions, the Tulsa OK edition with Jesse Aycock.

Forest Sun, Ingrid Serban, Jesse Aycock in Tulsa, OK

love,
Ingrid
PS. Sorry for the massive length of this message. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, love and support what I do. It means a lot to me.Write back and tell me how you are.

PPS. I didn’t even tell you anything about our trip to the Asheville film fest in NC to witness the debut of our short film, All Sales Final! So amazing!!! Too much to tell.


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